I find myself often hit with stress as summer approaches. You would think this would be the time of year when my stresses would float away, but being the type A personality I am, it’s my busy season both professionally and personally and this leads to so much planning and lining up activities that the stress really starts to take over. I use yoga to deal with my stress because it is one of the things I can do in the quiet of the morning when everyone else is still peacefully sleeping. I find that I don’t even have to do more than 5 minutes of these poses to find myself in complete ready-to-conquer-the-day bliss.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to do all of these poses, but find out which ones relieve the most stress for you and spend your time on those. I did try to choose poses that move from one another into the next, just in case you wanted to do all, though.
Come down to your knees and gently lean forward placing your arms and hands in front of you and your forehead resting on the mat. Keep your arms bent at the elbow and your forearm resting on the mat. Align your hips with your knees. This pose helps relieve stress on your shoulders and back. Breathe in and out slowly.
Sit with your legs crossed in a position you find comfortable. You can place a pillow behind you if you need it for support. Closing your eyes, and breathing in, bring your arms up to the sky and hold. Breathing out, open your eyes and bring your hands to center near your heart. This pose is great for opening your heart.
Thunderbolt is very calming because you focus on your breathing. This one is super easy to move into after seated salutation, too. Come to your knees and place your hands on the top of your thighs. Breathing in, cross your arms across your chest and place your hands under your arms on the sides of your ribcage. Concentrate on your breath and relax.
Reclining Buddha or Reclining Bound Angle Pose
I find hip openers extremely relaxing. This pose really helps you open your hips and pay attention to breathing as well as relieving lower back tension. Start by sitting and gently laying back. Place the soles of your feet together and open your legs at the knee. You can modify this as most people are not immediately this flexible. Simply get a rolled-up towel and place in under both knees and open until you are comfortable. Place your hands on your tummy and concentrate on your breathing, making sure to breath in with your nose and out through your mouth.
This pose is a great ending pose because it gets you off the floor. And, it’s very simple to do. Simply stand and lined up as possible with your knees, hips and back as straight as you can without locking joints. Bring your arms out from your sides a bit and face your palms up. Breathe and end.
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